Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Brief Aside

Usually I do not write about things that are on my mind on this blog (or any blog for that matter) unless of course they are letter related. But today I am making a special exception. Mainly because this has been on my mind all week now..and I need an outlet to share it.

As many of you may have heard (it made national news after all) there was a school shooting in Chardon Ohio on Monday. TJ Lane, the suspected shooter (he admits it), went into the cafeteria of Chardon High School and randomly shot 5 students. According to reports he never once said anything, just stood up, turned around and unloaded 10 rounds into his classmates. He was then chased from the building by the assistant football coach and willingly turned himself in to officers that were arriving on scene.

Since the shooting 3 of the 5 students have died from gunshot wounds to the head. One is still in serious condition for a neck wound and the only female student shot was released from the hospital yesterday. TJ Lane appeared in juvenile court yesterday for a preliminary hearing where he admitted he took the weapons to school and fired ten rounds. The prosecution has until March 1st to formally bring charges against him, which most likely will include three counts of aggravated murder.

Now, Chardon is just 20 miles north of here. Just a stones throw really. Its not a big city, nor a bad neighborhood. It is like much of Northeast Ohio, a sleepy little tight knit community. Of all places here in Ohio, no one would have ever suspected Chardon. That's the cliche isn't it? It could never happen here. Well on Monday it most certainly DID happen here. And its affects can be felt all throughout this part of Ohio.

The biggest reason it is on my mind is this. Mr. Carter attends Crestwood Elementary. Again..just 20 miles south of Chardon. Not one, but two students were arrested yesterday at the High School (just down the street from the Elementary) for threatening remarks and photos. The one boy was on a bus when he was detained and later arrested for threatening harm to others on the bus. But the one that really bothers me is this. The second boy posted on his Facebook on Feb 22 that he wanted to go on a stabbing spree at school. That he was tired of dealing with people. Then to be followed by a post yesterday that included the status to the affect of, who agrees with their friend that shooting up a school is a good idea?. Now that might not be so bad, I can certainly see where it could be taken out of context..but if thats the case, why did the same student then change his profile picture to one where he is holding an assault rifle?  What is going through the heads of these teens? Even if you were going to joke about it (how sick do you have to be?) why would you do it so publicly?

There were multiple incidents that happened in schools here yesterday and as I was writing this another school in NE Ohio was on lockdown because a student was making threatening remarks. There were two bomb scares yesterday in local schools and threats written on bathroom walls. Who thinks that is a good idea? Why aren't their parents teaching their children that violence isn't an answer, nor should remarks be made like that..even if just a joke?

I was in school once too. I know how rough it can be when you are trying to fit in and the pressures to do so. I know the sting you feel when things don't go your way and you get rejected by the peers you wish so desperately to get along with. The difference is, I never once EVER thought or said I was going to shoot or harm anyone. I never once thought that would solve my problems. When did our society become so desensitized to violence that our youth now see it as a way to "fix" their problems?

I don't really know how to end this post. This one was certainly more for me than you. I appreciate all of you for taking the time to read my little corner of the internet. (Even when I veer so far off topic).


  1. This is all very true and very timely. My heart goes out to everyone who is involved in this in any way. What a sad thing. Times were tough when I was is high school too but there was never anything like those shootings.I think popular culture is a lot to blame, -- American films glorify violence as do video games -- as a parent I have been shocked and upset by what is out there in popular culture. I think healthy minds can tell fake violence from real and are balanced but unhealthy minds can go to the dark side. Parents/teachers need to observe kids and be responsible for getting them help if they are depressed and dangerous. This is all very sad indeed.

  2. I have to say as a parent of a 4 year old, I actually monitor what my child watches or has access to.

    When she is at grandmas, there are rules as to what shows/movies are appropriate. This is not the case with her cousins. But then again I am not their keeper.

    So while some may blame society, I still believe this comes back to self centered parents who are not involved enough in their childs lives to give a damn and let the tv raise them.

    Kaylee is not sheltered in anyway. I do have my beliefs though. I do not purchase her anything with "brands" or "products" on them. Why would I pay good money to advertise for someone else?

    So, with a simple "be involved" many of these problems would not exist.

  3. Ha! Wait till she is a teenager! My son never even watched tv at home and we had rules and everything flew out the window when he hit the older school years.....he was at other people's homes and we couldn't control everything he saw and did -- and most parents did not agree with us. This in San Francisco where you'd think people would be on the side of less tv and games....Of course the parents have to be involved but you will see what it's like in middle school and high school....and my point is also that kids that take a gun and shoot up another person are mentally unbalanced and have gone off the deep end....normal kids know right from wrong as my 21 year old said today. And. BTW, where did the kid get the gun? From his parents?

  4. Just sit in front of the TV one night and really pay attention to what we're viewing.

    And, then turn it off. It's no wonder we're desensitized.